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Russian Aviation  
User currently offlineMia777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2002, 1165 posts, RR: 5
Posted (13 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 1857 times:

I am a little curious about Russian Aviation. I know many companies like Tupolov and Illyushin produce aircraft for Russia, however how do these jets compare to those of more prominent Boeing and Airbus? It seems like not one western nation has adopted their planes. Of course Cuba, China and any other Soviet-era allies would but are these planes really that much worse (it seems like these birds fall from the sky much mroe often that planes by other manufacturors)? or does it have to do with Russia's struggling economy and the prices of western planes?....thanks!


16 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineJanne From Sweden, joined Sep 2001, 379 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (13 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1824 times:

I don't know anything about how good the russian planes are compared
to western jets but I must say that the world has gotten a lot more
boring since airlines like Aeroflot, LOT, Balkan and other east europan
airlines has started buying Boeing instead of Iljushin, Antonov or Tupolev.
p.s. I'm living in Sweden and it was always nice to see Soviet aircraft when
an airline from the old communist states visited Arlanda.
p.s.2. I am not a communist. It's just so boring when every airline around
the world is using 737's.

User currently offlineCfalk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (13 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1810 times:

In a nutshell, here are a few reasons why the likes of Ilyushin and Tupolev are not very successful right now:

1) In the Soviet economy Tupolev and other such names were not integrated companies that designed, manufactured, assembled, serviced, and financed their aircraft like Boeing, Airbus etc. They were simply design bureaus. They designed an aircraft, and once approved by the government, the blueprints were handed off to a separate assembly plant, which was a different company altogether. Service was also separated, and of course financing was not a problem in such an economy. This fragmented industry is no good in private industry, and it has taken a number of years to start sorting them out. But I understand that the design bureaus and other segments are finally consolidating into integrated aircraft companies.

2) But one huge problem still remains - finance. It costs a hell of a lot of money to buy all the parts and assemble an airliner and you are out-of-pocket until the plane is delivered and an airline pays you. Russian manufacturers are so cash-strapped that the cannot afford to build planes without a pre-paid buyer, and with such limitations, they cannot start efficient mass-production. Each aircraft is essentially a prototype, with all the quality problems a prototype has. Same goes for engines and other components, which are simply not produced in large enough numbers to allow production to go smoothly.

3) While Russian airframes and structural engineers are excellent, they are still far behind in engine efficiency and reliability. Essentially, their state of engine technology is about where the west was 30 years ago, and Avionics are little better. These are of course things that can improve with time and technology-sharing ventures, but that can only happen if they get steady business - see 2) above.

I sincerely hope that Russian industry will provide a competitor to Airbus and Boeing. God knows they need some.


User currently offlineJanne From Sweden, joined Sep 2001, 379 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (13 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1801 times:

What can I say.
I like smokers and high noice aircraft. I was very sad today to learn
that even DC-9's are beeing stopped from visiting Arlanda.
In the good old days, you went out on the apron to board your aircraft,
inhaled the fumes, listened to the roar of departing airplanes.
Nowadays it's all a very un-sexy experience to go flying.
p.s. Did the jet kerosene smell better around the 70'ies or am I just an old
fart (don't answer that) that miss the old times?

User currently onlineAirstud From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 3765 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (13 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1796 times:

Hey who still flies the IL62? Does CU still fly them between Mexico City and Havana? Does Vietnam Airlines still operate them at all???


Pancakes are delicious.
User currently offlineDs From Russia, joined Nov 2001, 43 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (13 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 1786 times:

About plane manufacturers: the main problem in Russia is a strong decrease in the amount of air traffic. It dropped (in comparision with Soviet times) about 4 times. Imagine an airline, which has something like 20% of modern planes, 60% of not-so-old planes, and 20% of planes that should be replaced. And now (after this decrease) it has work for modern planes only and it does not need to buy any new planes in 5-10 years. Of course, Tupolev/Iljushin etc have no money and they cannot finance new projects. Because of this, if some airline need some advanced plane now (which happens quite seldom), it often buys/leases Airbus or Boeing. Let's take one project, Tu204. It's similar to A321 in its technical characteristics. The plane is designed in the late 80's and entered service in early 90's, but this project is not finished yet. Several (about 20) of Tu204 are built and fly, but they still have many open questions, they often break down, the supply of spare parts is not reliable etc.

I don't want to say that Tupolev looses competition with Boeing/Airbus. The amount of B737/A32x in Russia in regular service is also about 20.

It is not true that western airlines don't use Soviet/Russian a/c. TNT have Tu204's on their European routes. (One more large problem with Tu204 is that it is not certified in the West yet, so right now it's quite hard for a western airline to take such a/c). A lot of Soviet An124s (however, Antonov design bureau is not in Russia, but in Ukraine - another former SU republic) are used in Europe/USA on freight routes.

BTW, it's not absolutely true that China was an ally of SU. It could be true in early 50's, but later the tensions between China and SU were quite high. There were often local conflicts (even military ones), so it's quite hard to imagine how SU could sell something to China using brutal force.

User currently offlineMia777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2002, 1165 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (13 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 1763 times:

thanks all the the helpful info...i wasn't necessarily implying that China was an ally however they both shared the communist connection (as did Cuba). Thanks!


User currently offlineWasilenko From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (13 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 1761 times:

Russian avionics are behind the west!

- This is a load of crap! Il-96 and Tu-204 were respectively the world's 2nd and 3rd airplanes to fly with fly-by-wire systems. In addition to this Buran the Russian space shuttle still is the only spacecraft that went to space and came back in a fully automatic mode. The reason why west does not respect Russian avionics is because they are designed for Russia. All the gauges are in Russian and all digital displays show information is Russian. Russian cockpits were designed for Russian pilots just the way they like it with all the necessary instruments including the g-meter. Now imagine if an American airlines for example were to fly Tu-204s they would have to teach their pilots Russian.


User currently offlineSlawko From Canada, joined May 1999, 3804 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (13 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 1735 times:

Well then Wasilenko, maybe that is something that the russian designers should take into account...if all other aircraft from different parts of the world Airbus-France/EU, Boeing-US, Emb-Brazil, Bombardier-Canada, make their systems work in English, and write all teh documentation in english, then maybe russia should start looking at doing the same..Which im pretty sure they have already started doing with the newer models like the 204...

"Clive Beddoe says he favours competition, but his actions do not support that idea." Robert Milton - CEO Air Canada
User currently offlineCfalk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (13 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 1715 times:


Sorry, but the Russian electronics industry is still far behind - and right up to 1991, there was a whole chief directorate of the KGB which worked on stealing western computer technology, because indiginous systems were still based on vacuum tube technology.

The Buran went on its trip in automatic mode because nobody, even the historically brave Russian test pilots and cosmonauts, trusted the Buran enough to put himself in it.

As far as the language problem, that's true enough. It's time Russian aviation joined the rest of the world.

That said, I have worked in Russia, and know that they have top-notch engineers. If they can get the financial problems worked out, I'm sure we'll see some great aircraft.


User currently offlineAviastar From Belarus, joined Nov 2000, 280 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (13 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 1680 times:


These airlines "still" fly the Il-62M ("still" between " because some of these planes are not so old):
Cubana (their 4 Il-62M still flying were built between 1989 and 1992)
Domodedovo Al, Rossia, Air Koryo, Uzbekistan Aw. A few other ones are operated by Aviaenergo, Magadan Al, some airlines in the Middle East.

Vietnam never operated the Il-62 (but Yak-40, Tu-134, Il-18)


User currently onlineAirstud From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 3765 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (13 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 1641 times:

Aviastar, are you totally a BILLION PER CENT sure that Vietnam never flew the 62? I quite remember an article in Airways or Airliners a few years ago by an author who booked a whole trip on Vietnam just to catch a ride on the aging Il-62's.

I want to ride one one day, I suppose MEX-Havana will be the way to go.

Pancakes are delicious.
User currently offlineAviatsiya.ru From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (13 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 1636 times:


Aviastar may not be sure, but I am ONE BILLION AND ONE PERCENT  Wink/being sarcastic sure that Hang Khong Viet Nam never operated the Il-62. The only immediate country he could have flown on an Il-62 was in China when CAAC flew the aircraft.

However, having said that, Aeroflot and Interflug used to fly the Il-62 to either Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, so it could be possible that is what the author did.

Other operators of the Il-62 include Tretyakovo Airlines, East Line, Air Zena (Georgian Govt VIP), Air Ukraine, Ukraine Air Enterprise (Ukrainian Govt VIP), Dalavia, SAT Airlines (Sakhalinskie Aviatrassy).

User currently offlineBen From Switzerland, joined Aug 1999, 1391 posts, RR: 47
Reply 13, posted (13 years 8 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 1602 times:


That article was about an Aeroflot Il-62 to Vietnam. I know because I kept it and have it filed away somewhere. It was titled "Chasing an Ilyushin"??? or something like that??? Anyway, I know the one you are talking about and it was definitely an SU machine.

As far as I know, Vietnam never operated the type.

Other operators include MChS Rossii (The Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations), Rossiya (Russian Government), and KAPO - Kazan Aircraft Plant which is the place I believe the Il-62 production line was/is.


User currently offlineLuzezito From Spain, joined May 2001, 270 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (13 years 8 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 1579 times:

As a passenger rather than an expert, I can say that the TU 204 cockpit A320-alike, well, sort of. But whose components that are I am not sure. Could they be western?

TU 204 has been compared to the A320 family but its MTOW, range and routes it is operated on are more similar to those of the B752.
Then there is the IL 96 which would have been an excellent long range machine with any decent GE, PW or RR engines. Why has it never been done?

Probably to prevent any new competition in this lucrative market. Consider this. Both Boeing and Airbus are happy enough to see their a/c being used here in Russia and Boeing has a technical/commercial support centre in Moscow. They are selling not helping anyone, which is fair enough.

Cfalk was right in is comment about the fragmented civial aviation industry. If no steps have been taken by the Russian Government to curb this problem, perhaps it is because they are inherently recognising that the state of the industry is so far behind that it is best to accept it and be realistic. Besides, there is nothing that pleases Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin beter than being courted by both the US and the EU to buy their products. Hence the salomonical decision for the future SU acquisitions and/or leasings.

So the argument is far from being only technical, but also a political one, also here in Russia.

Quoniam Vita Brevis Est, Propera!
User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (13 years 8 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 1572 times:

Note that its very expensive to licence planes (the old workhorse Antonov2 is licenced in the US as "exprimental", meaning no commercial flights!), so this is one reason the Ilyjsin, Tupolev, Yakolev, Beriev and Antonov isn´t selling in US/western countries.

User currently offlineOO-AOG From Switzerland, joined Dec 2000, 1426 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (13 years 8 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 1569 times:


Don't think that Russian reliability or technology is beyond western standards. It's not true. Take an aircraft like tu TU204 (with western engines even better) and you will have a perfect airliner to compete with the 757 and the A321. The problem is more for parts supply and certification problems, that's the reason why we don't see more Russian aircrafts in our fleets...and of course maybe the passenger marketing side is much better with good western aircrafts than with TUs and ILs...unfortunately.
I have dispatched TU204s in the past, and I can tell you that it was by far the best aircraft we had in matter of cost and reliability, even enjoyed jump seats on board and was really surprised of the level of technology.

Falcon....like a limo but with wings
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